Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums

Recommended Posts

Any suggestions for a new American constitution to replace the Constitution of 1787 (as amended)? Input desired.

Two caveats however (you might not listen, but please please please try anyway!)

1. it must remain a presidential republic. (no prime ministers, no kings, etc.)

2. the bills of rights--and its interpretations by jurists--can't be changed, here.  Therefore, please for he love of all that is holy, no second amendment stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, let's try this one on for size:

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

How is that working out?

More important however is the two-thirds law that is all over the Constitution, but it seems that Trump is encouraging it be ignored for his appointments. Specifically:

He [President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The only place that I am aware of a President's appointment only requiring a majority vote is when a new President replaces one (e.g. death or otherwise removed from office), then he/she gets to select a new Vice-President and only requires a majority confirmation from both houses. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, it's only a simple majority, not 2/3, to confirm appointments.  That has nothing to do with President Trump.  The 2/3 is specifically with treaties.  It has always been that way.

As far as the first part you quoted from the constitution of 1787, which part of that do you believe to be problematic? And how would you change it?

Edited by JamesHackerMP
Link to post
Share on other sites

You highlighted "shall not be questioned in any other place."  That's a pretty typical privilege for legislators around the world.  It's called parliamentary privilege.  Without it you could have the President, or some other executive authority in the US government, arresting senators and representatives for what they said on the floor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Well, heck...I was hoping for some input from some of the more prolific posters.  But I guess I'll give some of my own.

Change the Senate turnover to 1/2 at a time instead of 1/3 at a time, somehow.  That could either necessitate having terms of 6 and 3 years--for the senators and the representatives respectively--or 4 and 2.  The former would probably necessitate as well changing the president's term to 3 years (with 3 terms allowed).  4 and 2 would not change the presidential elections, of course.

Gerrymandering: stop it! Something in the constitution must disallow states to gerrymander, or to disallow the states from giving the authority to the governors/state legislators.

Overriding a veto: 3/5 of the members present, instead of 2/3, to override a presidential veto.

members of congress shall have no benefits in excess of a federal civil servant (besides their own annual salary).  No BS of extra money for serving at least 20 years in Congress, for example.

Presidential elections: I wouldn't end the electoral college, but I would change the presidential primary process to make sure all states hold their primaries on the SAME....DAMN....DAY...throughout the union.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would change the bit about presidential elections that if a candidate receives more than 50% of the popular vote he or she wins, no matter what the EC-numbers point.

So, in my proposed system Trump would still have won as Hillary also failed to get over 50%.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, -TSS- said:

I would change the bit about presidential elections that if a candidate receives more than 50% of the popular vote he or she wins, no matter what the EC-numbers point.

The US electoral system balances individual rights with states rights. The EC system gives each state 2 votes in addition to their allotment based on population. I can't see any reason to change this because electoral systems are supposed to balance different objectives. i.e. do why you think a president elected with a large majority in only New England and the West Coast but no where else would be more legitimate than a president with support across the country?

Edited by TimG
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Why do you insist on remaining a Republic?  I have discussed this with your man, Bernard Wolley and he also suggests you re-concider in view of the long term contingencies.

Yours respectfully,

Sir Humphrey

 

Edited by Queenmandy85
Link to post
Share on other sites

To Europeans it seems absurd that in some parts of a country there can be death penalty while in others there can't. It's either/or rather than both/and for our frame of mind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Elect a President by popular vote and invest in the office the same authority and political powers as the President of Germany (or the Queen of Canada). It should be a mainly ceremonial position but with the function to advise, caution, and call upon the leader of the party with the most seats in Congress to form a government.

2. The leader of the party with the most seats in Congress would be called upon by the President to form a government.

3. The Senate would have the function of reviewing legislation (sober second thought) passed by Congress.

4. Budgets should be presented by the Secretary of the Treasury to Congress and considered as presented. Actually, I am not certain how this would work, but one of the drawbacks of the present system is it seems that every legislator has their little pet add-on the inflates the budget beyond reason.

5. Reorganize the distribution of powers between the states and the federal government so that things like the criminal code and federal elections are federal responsibilities. 

The U.S. Constitution was written for a time and situation over two hundred years ago. It should be up dated for the twenty-first Century.

There should be some mention of relations with TPLC's. (Tin-pot little counties. :D)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting ideas.  Several advantages I can see, some of which are equally pitfalls; as well as several actual pitfalls, which under the right circumstances would be advantages.  A lot of things in politics are double-edged swords, no?

The Senate must have equal legislative power with the House of Representatives.  If it doesn't, the states aren't represented as states, and the US would degenerate into a unitary state which, by the way, it isn't.  Even liberals in the US would chafe under such a structure, however much they say now that they wouldn't.

The president--under the actual present system--has his own "pet add ons" just as much as any member of Congress.  If the Secretary of the Treasury is to be a member of Congress, if that's what you're planning, it'll pretty much go through on the nod.  No sober second thought would count.  And the SecTreas, as a member of Congress, would likely have his own pet add ons he'd want to jam into the budget.  (There is a simpler way to solve the "pork barrel" problem).  The drawback is that the executive arm, being a member of the legislative, would have all the power over the budget.  The backbenchers might TRY to provide some sober second thought to the budget, or even the Senate, but it wouldn't work--the cabinet (including the Sec. of the Treasury) would have most of the power.

On 3/5/2017 at 4:12 PM, -TSS- said:

To Europeans it seems absurd that in some parts of a country there can be death penalty while in others there can't. It's either/or rather than both/and for our frame of mind.

Because most European countries are unitary states rather than federations.  Hence the confusion.  The United States is far too extensive to be governed as a unitary state, hence, things like that will persist.  Everything has its negative side in politics somehow.

I'm not sure Americans would really know what to do with parliamentary democracy.  We're so used to presidential democracy and old habits die hard.

As far as the budget, however, you do have a point and you're at least going in the right direction with it.  Currently, the problem with budgets is that the constitution sort of implies the Congress is the purse of the community, but makes no specific guidelines as to the specific process.  A better idea would be to make the procedure specific and inviolable somehow.  In maryland, the governor doesn't even have the power to veto the budget bill.  He presents it to the bicameral General Assembly (state legislature) but once it passes both the senate and House of Delegates, it's the law.  (I might be mistaken about that, I'll have to ask a few people, but I'm pretty sure that's how it works in this state.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

The central government has obtained more and more power over the years than was ever originally designed in the constitution. On the other hand, many US-states still have more say in their own affairs than can be said of EU-member states which are nominally independent countries but in reality are just regions of the evolving EU super-state.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that would explain the confusion over difference in state laws, wouldn't it?

So, what parts of the constitution, or what principles enshrined within it, are "outdated" in your opinion? That they need to be brought into the 21st century?

Edited by JamesHackerMP
Link to post
Share on other sites

Isnt there constant talk about extending the presidential-term to five years as four years is considered too short? However, no worry about such a change happening as long as Trump is President.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2017 at 0:08 PM, Queenmandy85 said:

5. Reorganize the distribution of powers between the states and the federal government so that things like the criminal code and federal elections are federal responsibilities. 

I agree that there needs to be a more clear "demarcation" between state and federal jurisdiction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with you there. It has been mentioned many times that the US-presidential term at four years is too short and should be extended to five if not even six years. Note the term-limits and only eight years:

First year:You are a novice and don't know what to do

Second year: You have to worry about the mid-term elections

Third year: This time you can make some real decisions

Fourth year: You have to worry about getting re-elected

Fifth year: This time you can make some real decisions

Sixth year: Mid-term elections again. It won't bother you anymore but your party will be angry if you do as you please

Seventh year: Real decisions, maybe, maybe not

Eighth year: Nobody is interested in you anymore as you are out soon. You can make some decisions but your successor will overturn them anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, -TSS- said:

First year:You are a novice and don't know what to do

Second year: You have to worry about the mid-term elections

Third year: This time you can make some real decisions

Fourth year: You have to worry about getting re-elected

Ok, so this changes to You have to worry about the mid-term elections

2 minutes ago, -TSS- said:

Fifth year: This time you can make some real decisions

and this one changes to nobody is interested in you anymore as you are out soon. You can make some decisions but your successor will overturn them anyway.

Seems worse to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Tell a friend

    Love Political Discussion Forums? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...